The International Ez Zantur Project

Preliminary Report on the 1998 Swiss-Liechtenstein excavations at ez Zantur

by Bernhard Kolb (with contributions by Laurent Gorgerat and Matthias Grawehr)

VII. Ez Zantur IV: Rooms 5, 13 and 18

The small, simply furnished rooms around courtyard 5 were probably part of the household tract. The floorspace of room 18 is dominated by a quadratic basin (2 x 2.1 x 0.8 m) lined with flat stones. The pool is sealed with grey hydraulic mortar. In the west corner of the basin is a round, bowl-like depression, about 20 cm deep. The basin was not fitted out with a drain but there are also no apparent signs of a feed pipe. The installation was certainly not connected to the two channels which run below the pavement of courtyard 5: one of the channels drained southwards in the direction of room 2, the other runs westwards below the pavement of corridor 13. The question as to the function of this basin cannot be answered at the moment, especially since it was filled with sterile material later on. Room 18 opened onto corridor 5 through two doorways in the first building phase; these were then walled up in a later phase. 28 kg of amphora sherds were collected in the strata above and next to the basin. It is quite possible that room 18 was used as a rubbish dump after the two doors had been sealed off. The coin and pottery finds date the last use of this group of rooms to the 4th century AD.

Room 15

The partially exposed flagstone floor and pilaster Z in square 90/AO were probably two elements of the centrally placed courtyard which borders on room 7 to the north (Fig. 1). The bipartite Attic pilaster base and a column base of the same type can be seen in Fig. 12.

Fig. 12: EZ IV. Room 15. Bipartite Attic base of pilaster Z and column base in the bulk (photo: D. Keller)
Fig. 12: EZ IV. Room 15. Bipartite Attic base of pilaster Z and column base in the bulk (photo: D. Keller)

Both bases stand on a stylobat, which runs east-west and have counterparts on the northern side of room 7 (Fig. 1). The space between pilaster Z and the column base (0.98 m) is the same as that between the pilaster and column bases of room 7. The openings in the two bipartite pilaster bases are also identical but the width of the opening in the base of pilaster Z (0.48 m) is significantly wider than that of the column base in room 7, which can be reconstructed with wooden door-frames. The findings indicate a reconstruction of the north side of the courtyard with screen-walls between the supports.

A number of unusual findings and finds came to light in square 90/AN. We begin with the findings: The east face of wall G which was only preserved to the height of two courses of ashlars, revealed a blocked up doorway from the first building phase. Rather surprising is the fact that the lowest 20 cm of the fill in the door consists of layers of stucco mouldings. The sealed up doorway is hidden by the wall painting on the western face of wall G. One can conclude from these findings that the wall painting preserved in situ in room 1 does not belong to the first phase of the building, but to a second phase which is also present in room 6 (see above). There is no direct evidence for the dating of this second building phase. The phase 2 repairs to the damaged pillar P1 in room 6 could be taken as an indication for an earthquake due to the limited structural damage and changes to and redecoration of certain rooms.